As we revise this preface in July, 2014, we are struck by how much the events of the day both reflect, and are profoundly changing, the process of globalization. For example, we write this only hours before watching Lionel Messi and Argentina take on the Netherlands in the World Cup – the most famous global sporting event. Football (or soccer, as it is known in the United States) is the most played and most watched sport around the world. Football fandom also reflects a global culture and, with FIFA as its governing body, it has a global organizational structure.

It has been particularly fascinating to watch global events unfold as we were writing the second edition of this book. For instance, the first edition was published in the midst of the Great Recession. The ways in which economic processes (e.g. mortgage failures, credit freezes, the failure of legendary financial firms and banks), largely originating in the US, flowed around the world in relatively short order was breathtaking. As the crisis deepened and widened, political unrest grew, and the future of the global economy was uncertain. As of this writing, the global economy has stabilized but it has not yet rebounded to its pre-recessionary levels for many Americans and for many others in most parts of the world. A great number of scholars and activists argued that it was neoliberal policy (see Chapter 4) that ...

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